Stock up on sunscreen

Whether you’re jetting off for a fortnight in the sun or you’re enjoying a rain-free British weekend break, it’s good to stay sun-safe and protect your skin.

The available range of reasonably-priced, decent quality sunscreens increases every year, and I’m really happy about that for one main reason. If your little bottle of sunscreen costs a fortune then you might not slap it on as liberally or as frequently as you should – now just about anyone can afford to keep themselves safe and healthy without worrying too much about the cost.

Most of us don’t use anywhere near enough sunscreen. If you’re going out there just in a swimsuit or shorts you need about 2 tablespoons of the stuff to be safe.  It then needs to be reapplied regularly, especially after perspiration or swimming, according to experts such as Cancer Research.

If you’re looking for a new sunscreen the recommendations are that you check the labelling carefully, and seek out a ‘broad spectrum’ product with an SPF of at least 15 that’s been formulated to protect you from both UVA (which ages your skin) and UVB (which burns your skin) light. Fairer-skinned people and children need higher SPFs. To find out more about staying safe under the rays, visit SunSmart.

High street chemists such as Boots and Superdrug have some excellent value own-brand ranges (Soltan and Solait) that get great results in independent tests, and so do some of the supermarkets, particularlyAsda and also Sainsbury’s. Prices start as low as £3. All these shops regularly have promotions on branded sun creams and lotions as well, so you can save on the more expensive products if you’d prefer.

If you have very sensitive skin, Avon sell a very gentle but effective unperfumed mineral sunscreen, and frequently have money-off deals. Lips are sun-sensitive on everyone: try a shielding balm such as Neutrogena SPF20 (£2.88) or Nivea SPF25 (£3.47), or a bargain tin of SPF15 Vaseline Lip Therapy (£1.69). Or up the glam factor with a Collection 2000 SPF20 lip gloss (£3.99).

But what about the tan? Most people can still tan through SPF15, it just happens more slowly with less risk of burning and it might just save your skin. If you don’t want to grill yourself until your face is the texture of old leather then there are plenty of excellent fake tanning products out there too. Stock up before you hit the beach, the festivals, or your best mate’s barbeque.

This article by Penny Golightly originally appeared on the blog.

Do you have any favourite sunscreens that work well and are reasonably-priced?

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